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LETTER xvi   AZIZ KHAK AND MIRZA YTJSUF                25

An unpleasant contretemps occurred to me while we
were marching through some very lonely hills. If Mirza
rides as he should, behind me, his mule always falls out
of sight, and he is useless, so lately I have put him in
front. To-day I dropped a glove, and after calling and
whistling to him vainly, got off and picked it up, for I
am reduced to one pair, but attempt after attempt to rget
on again failed, for each time, as I put my hand on the
saddle, Screw nimbly ran backwards, and in spite of my
bad knee I had to lead him for an hour before I was
missed, running a great risk of being robbed by passing
Lurs. When Mirza did come back he left his mule in a
ravine, exposed to robbers, and Aziz Khan was so in-
furiated that he threatened to "cut his throat." Aziz
despises him as a " desk-bred " man for his want of " out-
doorishness," and miniics the dreamy, helpless fashion
in which he sits on his mule, but Mirza can never be
provoked into any display of temper or discourtesy.

From Aziz's camp we had a very steep and rugged
descent to this place, Cheshmeh Dima, where we- have
halted for two days. Three streams, the head-waters
of the Zainderud, have their sources in this neighbour
hood, and one of them, the Dima, rises as a powerful
spring under a rock here, collects in a basin, and
then flows away as a full-fledged river. The basin or
pool has on one side a rocky hill, with the ruins of a fort
upon it, and on the three others low stone walls of very
rude construction. The Lurs, who soon came about us,
say that the ruined fort was the pleasure palace of a great
king who coined money here. The sides of the valley
are dotted with camps. Opposite are the large camp and
white tent of Ohiragh Ali Khan, a chief who has the re-
putation of being specially friendly in his views of England.

The heat yesterday was overpowering, and the crowds
of Bakhtiari visitors and of sick people could hardly be